ATA reports mixed June tonnage levels

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The American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently announced that June truck tonnage was mixed, to varying degrees.

The ATA’s advanced SA For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for June—at 115.3 (2015=100)—headed up 8.7%, following a 1% May decline, which followed a 10.3% (downwardly revised from -12.2%) April decrease, at 107.2.

On an annual basis, June SA tonnage dipped 1.3%, marking the third straight annual SA decline, which, while down, marked an improvement over May’s 9.6% annual decline, which represented the largest annual decline going back to 2009 during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, with the caveat that SA tonnage is not falling at the same rate as it was during that period.

On a year-to-date basis through June, SA tonnage is down 2.4% annually.

The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment and the metric ATA says fleets should benchmark their levels with, came in at 115.2, which was 5.2% higher than May’s 109.8 reading.

“Not surprisingly, as more states lifted restrictions in June, truck tonnage was robust,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello in a statement. “While the gain in June was the single best month since January 2013, the solid gain was not enough to put tonnage back to pre-pandemic levels, but it is close. I am hearing good anecdotal freight reports for July, but I am concerned that freight could slow as more states reinstate restrictions due to increasing Coronavirus cases.”  

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